This post about “modding” of a Huawei P8 aims to summarize most of the standard procedures you need when you want to modify the device software (also called “firmware”), because you are a developer or want to be more flexible in how you use your device.
Normally, in order to gain this knowledge, you have to read a lot of “geeky” posts on sites like xda developers, which is very time consuming, and sometimes even leads to complete failure (you end up “bricking” your device), because many people there don’t bother to post clear and comprehensive instructions, but simply assume people have some pre-knowledge and know how to do things.
I don’t yet consider this post “finalized” yet (it needs some “polishing”), but I would like to make it available already now to make sure it won’t be forgotten… 😉
“Fastboot” mode is a special mode your device can be put into in order to perform certain maintenance operations, such as (un-) locking your boot loader, flashing partition images, etc. The tool you use on your PC or Mac to communicate with the phone while it is in “fastboot” mode is also called fastboot. It is part of the Android platform tools which you can download here directly from Google.
I decided to write this post since I couldn’t find any single page that lists all the “secrets” you need to know when modding your Sony Xperia X Compact (XC) codenamed “Kugo” in a concise manner and in a single place. And after half a year when I last tinkered with my XC, I had forgotten about all the details again, so I had to research them again anyway…
I give credit to the following XDA people (but not limited to them, I apologize to those who I might have forgotten):
The general approach when modding your phone is the following:
Flash custom recovery
Backup current installation/data
(Optionally: flash latest stock firmware)
(Optionally: flash custom recovery that works with your new stock firmware)
Flash other mods or use “root” apps
First let’s explain what “fastboot mode” is: Fastboot is both a tool and a protocol for writing data directly to your phone’s flash memory. In practical use, it is used to flash images such as recoveries, bootloaders, and kernels to your Android device.
The “fastboot” tool (as well as “adb” which is also needed when tinkering with your Android smart phone) is part of the Android “platform tools,” which you can download directly from Google (roughly 4M only).
To bring your phone into fastboot mode, perform the following steps:
Switch the phone off.
Hold “Volume up” and connect your phone to the USB port of your PC. The notification LED should first light up in red, then blue, and provided you have correctly installed drivers, you will be able to use fastboot commands.
Note that the screen will remain black. You can check whether you are in fastboot mode with the following command:
$ fastboot devices
If you see output similar to the above, you have successfully put your phone in fastboot mode.
In my previous article I described the key components the Genexis FiberTwist-P2410 is comprised of. One of these components is the serial console connector, and its presence was so tempting that I simply had to play with it…